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SSND Corporate Stance on
Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace

Card designed by Sister Gen Cassani with origami birds and the words, "Everyone can be an artisan of peace." Image from Shutterstock.

As a community of women religious committed to living the values of the Gospel, School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) are called to "Work actively, especially in our local situations, to eliminate the root causes of injustice to realize a world of peace, justice, and love." (You Are Sent Constitution). Responding to an escalation of violence and division in our world, the SSND stand as one and agree to the Corporate Stance of Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace.

SSND recognizes the centrality of active nonviolence in the vision and message of Jesus. In his own time, rife with structural violence, Jesus proclaimed a new, nonviolent order rooted in the unconditional love of God. Jesus called his disciples to love their enemies (Matthew 5:44), which includes respecting the image of God in all persons; to offer no violent resistance to one who does evil (Matthew 5:39); to become peacemakers; to forgive and repent, and to be abundantly merciful (Matthew 5-7).

Pope Francis also called for a commitment to nonviolence in his message for the 50th World Day of Peace, "May we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words, and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. 'Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace.'"

For the School Sisters of Notre Dame, taking a Corporate Stance is a public commitment to act, to foster greater accountability to themselves, donors and friends. It is the result of a period of deep study, reflection and dialogue, by the community. The adoption of a Corporate Stance permits SSND to stand as one, on this important commitment. It provides direction and structure for education, reflection and action on this critical concern.

In the summer of 2019, after more than six months of study and reflection, the SSND Central Pacific Province adopted the following Corporate Stance on Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace:

As School Sisters of Notre Dame committed to a more just and peaceful world, we are called to take a clear stand for creative and active nonviolence and against all forms of violence. Our commitment to just peace offers a vision and an ethic to build peace, as well as to prevent, defuse, and heal the damage of violent conflict. This ethic is essential in order to promote a culture of life and oneness with all creation. We recognize that peace requires justice and justice requires peacemaking. We are being called to pray, speak out, advocate, educate and take decisive action.

We commit to:

  • Integrate Gospel Nonviolence explicitly into our everyday lives;
  • Cultivate our own inner peace by developing self-respect and recognition of one’s own dignity;
  • Recognize and respect the dignity of each person; live and teach love and compassion for all;
  • Recognize our interconnectedness with all creation and seek to live in harmony with all of life reflecting this in our prayer, practices, and policies;
  • Use education, reflection, prayer and other actions to foster a culture of peace and to eliminate violence in our individual lives, our communities, society, and in our relationship with all of creation;
  • Promote peacebuilding through nonviolent policies, practices and strategies;
  • Advocate for the use of diplomacy and dialogue to abolish war and nuclear weapons; challenge the validity and application of the “just war theory.”

Together in unity, with this Corporate Stance, SSND affirms their commitment to Gospel nonviolence and pray that their friends and supporters will continue to journey with them in their efforts to "realize a world of peace, justice, and love."

Visit Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace Corporate Stance for additional information and prayer cards in English, Spanish and Japanese.


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